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AAA Expects Slight July 4 Auto Travel Decline

AAA Travel projects that 40.80 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from their homes during the Independence Day holiday, which is defined as Wednesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 7. That’s a 0.8-percent decrease from a year ago.

AAA pegs the anticipated decline in holiday travel to a shorter holiday period. With the Fourth of July landing on a Thursday this year, the holiday period has returned to the standard five-day holiday, compared to the six-day period in 2012 when the holiday fell on a Wednesday.

Approximately 34.40 million people (or 84 percent of all holiday travelers) plan to drive to their destination — a decrease of 0.7 percent from the 34.70 million who drove last year, according to AAA research.

AAA says gas prices are unlikely to be a major factor in travel decisions this holiday. As of mid-June, prices were on average up 2 percent when compared to the same time in 2012. Despite the slight increase compared to last year, prices remain below their highs of earlier this year.

However, gas prices remain at a level most Americans consider too high. Half of U.S. adults consider gas prices to be “too high” when it reaches $3.44 per gallon, according to AAA research.

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